US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken stated that if Tehran does not make concessions during the talks, then the 2015 JCPOA agreement will be at risk.
The United States and France warned Iran that time is running out to resume the nuclear agreement, and they fear that if negotiations are delayed, Tehran’s sensitive atomic activities may advance.
During the first high-level visit of President Joe Biden’s administration to Paris, Secretary of State Anthony Brinken and his French host gave a new spirit of cooperation on Friday after four years of turmoil under Donald Trump’s leadership. pay tribute.
But the two sides said that if Tehran does not make concessions during the negotiations, one of Biden’s key promises-returning to the Iran nuclear program agreement that was destroyed by Trump in 2015-will be at risk. Lasts for several months In Vienna.
Brinken warned that the United States and Iran still have “serious differences”, and Iran has been negotiating since its victory in the presidential election last week. Ibrahim Raisi.
Brinken told reporters using the official name of the agreement: “Yes, at a certain point, it is difficult to return to the standards set by the JCPOA.”
“We haven’t reached that point yet-I can’t determine the date-but we are aware of it.”
Brinken warned that if Iran “continues to spin more advanced centrifuges” and strengthens uranium enrichment, it will bring the “breakthrough” closer and it will dangerously approach the ability to develop a nuclear bomb.
But Brinken said that Biden still supports the return agreement, according to which Iran will significantly reduce its nuclear work until Trump withdrew in 2018 And implement severe sanctions.
“It is in our national interest to try to put the nuclear issue back into the framework of the JCPOA,” Brinken said.
Brinken said that if Tehran fails to extend the monitoring agreement with the UN nuclear supervisory agency that expires this week, it will become a “serious concern” in the negotiations with the world powers to restart the nuclear agreement.
Since April, Iran has been negotiating with world powers to resume the 2015 agreement under which Iran agreed to restrict its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. The Vienna talks are currently suspended and are expected to last until next week.
After the Trump-led U.S. abandoned the agreement in 2018, Iran responded by violating some of these restrictions. Tehran and Washington have yet to agree on which party should take which steps and when to resume the agreement.
One of Iran’s measures to reduce compliance was the decision to end the additional monitoring of its nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency in February. The temporary transaction was extended by two inspections, and the last one ended this week.
“This is still a serious problem,” Brinken and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters at a press conference in Paris. “This concern has been communicated to Iran and needs to be resolved.”
The UN nuclear watchdog said late on Friday that it had not received a reply from Tehran on the possible extension of the monitoring agreement, which expired on Thursday.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated in a statement that its director Rafael Grossi had sent a letter to Tehran on the matter on June 17, but “Iran has not yet responded to his letter and has not indicated whether it intends to maintain the current s arrangement”.
Grossi said, “In this regard, Iran needs to respond immediately.”
France — like the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, and China, staying in the 2015 agreement despite Trump’s pressure — has also increased the pressure on Iran to advance.
“We hope that the Iranian authorities will make a final decision-undoubtedly a difficult decision-that will bring the negotiations to an end,” Le Drian said at a joint press conference with Blinken.
Negotiations have stalled, partly because Iran insisted on lifting all sanctions and pointed out the economic relief under the agreement.
The Biden administration stated that it is ready to cancel the economic measures related to nuclear work stipulated by the JCPOA, but will retain other sanctions, including human rights and Iran’s support for armed groups in the Arab world.
Some experts believe that Iran has been waiting for Raisi to be elected, and his hardline attitude has been supported by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the ultimate arbiter of Iran’s foreign policy.
Analysts have said that Iran may reach an agreement before Raisi takes office in August – allowing him to attribute the expected economic boost to him, but if the situation worsens, it will blame the outgoing President Hassan Rouhani. ), he is a moderate who supports a better relationship with the West.